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February 14, 1970 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1970-02-14

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Seventy-nine years of editorial freedom
Edited and managed by students of the University of Michigan

420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, Mich.

News Phone: 764-0552

Editorials printed in The Michigan Daily express the individual opinions of staff writers
or the editors. This must be noted in all reprints.

- .
~t74 ii

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 14, 1970

NIGHT EDITOR: JUDY SARASOHN

i'

Minority admissions:
Time for action

DESPITE THE massive financial diffi-
culties involved in their implementa-
tion, the demands of the Black Action
Movement for greatly increased minority
admissions deserve t h # support of all
members of the University community.
Under the BAM demands, which are
now being analyzed by the University ad-
ministration, the enrollment of b 1 a c k
students would take a significant jump
next fall with the admission of 450 black
freshmen, 150 transfer students and 300
graduate students.
The proportion of black studepts would
continue to grow, reaching 10 per cent of
the student population by 1973. Addition-
al increases would then be made until
the percentage of black students in the
University at least approached the pro-
portion of blacks in the state.
In order to give these students a good
chance of academic success, meanwhile,
the University would institute a massive
program of supportive services. Reforms
yin the financial aids procedures would al-
so be undertaken..
En toto, of course, these demands are
aimed at helping to end the tragic in-
equities involved in the status, economic
social and. political, of the vast majority
of black people in the United States.
DESPITE AN increased awareness of
black problems, blacks still face sub-
average family incomes and have an un-
employment rate nearly twice that of
whites.
Education, it has long argued, is the
key to ending the cycle of poverty that is
the prison of many of the nation's black
citizens and the fate of their children.
But progress in .this area has also been
slow.
At present, blacks constitute an esti-
mated 1000 of 32,000 students at the Ann
Arbor campus. Although this number has
increased five fold in the last five or six
years, it is typical of black enrollment at
many of the nation's colleges and uni-
versities.
But it can hardly be argued that this
volume of commitment by the' University
will go as far as one would hope toward
helping to equalize the status of blacks
in the country. Since education is only
one of the prerequisites for moving to-
ward this kind of equality in the next
generation, it is difficult to see how less
than equal educational opportunities will
be sufficient.
THERE ARE, of course, major obstacles
-mostly financial - blocking the im-
plementation of the BAM program. The
intensive supportive programs that BAM
envisions are necessary to supplement the
academic life of new studentswhose pre-

vious education has been seriously defi-
cient. So too is it necessary for the Uni-
versity to increase its pool of financial
aids monies if there is to be any hope
that large numbers of black students will
be able to enroll.
Unfortunately, few avenues for obtain-
ing the money which will be needed for
these purposes are open to the University.
In the near future at least, b o t h the
state and federal governments seem too
obsessed by "fiscal conservatism" to make
massive contributions for an increased
black admissions programrat the Univer-
sity'-
STUDENTS FOR Effective Action, re-
cently suggested a plan for financing
the BAM program which seems to put the
emphasis in the right place.
If the University is to undertakea mas-
sive black admissions program in t h e
near future, SEA argued, it will have to
be financed by those students who can
afford to contribute - there is simply no
source of revenue other than tuition pres-
ently available to the University.
Objections to such a proposal have
b e e n raised on a number of grounds.
Some for example, argue that it is some-
how unfair if some students must carry,
the financial burden of the education of
others. Unfortunately, not much that is
likely to convince proponents of such a
view can be said in response. Of course,
the "unfairness" they decry already ex-
ists to an extent in that tuition revenues
are used to subsidize the financial aids
program. Beyond that, the "unfairness"
argument is simply grounded in an ana-
lysis of society which does not recognize
that it is more unfair for people to be
denied an education because of their race
and their lack of money than it is to "ov-
ercharge" students who can well afford
the extra fee.
More subtly conservative is the argu-
ment that, by raising tuition to fund in-
creased black admissions, the University
will be excluding middle income students.
A number of remedies could be applied
to avoid this admittedly real possibility.
For example, a system of graduated tui-
tion levels based on ability to paytcould
be instituted. Alternatively, the tuition
could be increased enough to provide fi-
nancial aids monies for middle - as well
as lower income students.
Possibiitieskfor funding thergreatly in-
creased* black enrollment are feasible
ones and the problems they- will create
can be handled. The University has a re-
sponsibility to move rapidly in the area of
minority admissions. Agreement by the
Regents to t h e demands of the BAM
would be an appropriate first step to-
ward fulfilling that responsibility.
-MARTIN HIRSCHMAN

"..andleave- - -r- - - ---iotos
... . a nd leave desegregation to us.

The Mardi Gras:
Journey to the past
By STEVE KOPPMAN
Thousands of outstretched hands shoot up along the parade route
as the big masked people on the big beautiful floats toss the necklaces
and doubloons out to the screaming crowd. The people on the streets
are loud, drunk and joyful - they laugh and shout and when the
beads hit the ground they knock you over if you stand in the way.
The crowds in the French Quarter of New Orleans on the nights
leading up to Mardi Gras are packed in tight. Every other guy has a
bottle in his hand, the streets are thick with beer cans, the sidewalk
hawkers tell you to ("be a man") and get inside the bar. There are twice "
as many men on the stfeet as women, and lonely sailors gaze hopefully
at every passing female. Every so often there's a little fight and then
there's the loud singing of old songs and people are all pushing and
drinking.
CERTAIN THINGS -you notice about the carnival city if you don't
live there. Most of the people walking the street during the day are
black and most of them look really poor. During most of the parades,
blacks carry torches up front, drive floats and trucks, and lead the
horses.
But during the Zulu parade Mardi Gras morning, the blacks take
over center stage. The floats are smaller and shabbier than in the
other parades, and the people on them throw out cocoanuts instead of
beads, and some of them wear grass skirts instead of long gowns.
But the thing that really caught my eye in the Zulu parade was a
float called "Martin Luther King." This featured a black guy bouncing
around on this float, laughing and throwing out cocoanuts and doub-
loons, with a sign "Mayor of Africa" in front of him. "Hey, big shot,"
the crowd shouts up to him.
I asked the Southern girl I was with how blacks could conduct a
parade like that. She didn't understand my objection, and I suggested
it was degrading. "They seem to enjoy it," she said, and I had to agree
that was the way it seemed.
IF YOU'RE NEW to the city and to the South, and you look around
New Orleans and the Mardi Gras, you start thinking maybe the whole
festival is this enormous parody of what the city is like all the time.
You look at these rich people sitting on these floats throwing down
necklaces and phony coins to this mob of people - all begging and
grabbing and fighting for every bead.
And you start wondering what would happen if you took all the
resources that are diverted for the hundreds of floats and the balls
and the liquor and the beads and hotels. and put it to work to relieve
the poverty half the city lives in.
But that's not very likely. New Orleans ("society"), which puts on
most of the festivities, would be deprived of any apparent function if
it were left without its annual gift to the city. And people seem to love
Mardi Gras. They talk for hours about the days they spent drunk and
the nights they spent vomiting and the beads they caught.
People of more modest means seem to take an obnoxious sort of
pride in any direct association they get with the Mardi Gras. We were
walking by this enormous hall where a ball was apparently in progress
- the men had the tuxedoes, the women had these dresses down to the
floor. I've never been to a ball, and I was curious, so I walked up to one
of the policemen who was standing at the entrance, guarding against
unwanted guests.
He fit the stereotype of a Southern cop - he wasfrowning and fat
and you had to be conscious of his nightstick.
"Sir, what sort of thing do they do in there," I asked, "dance and
stuff?"
He looked really angry and he sounded like he couldn't be bothered
with such stupidity. "It's just an ordinary ball," he said,
I bet he'd never been to a ball either.
THE POLICE, the newspapers and the other'"'arms of the estab-
lishment" look with tolerance on the excesses of Mardi Gras celebra-
tion. The Marti Gras seems "safe" - it appears as a massive redirec-
tion of energy away from the problems of an ugly and oppressive so-
cial order to the harmless diversions of drink and play.
And it is highly unlikely that New Orleans "society" would support
any reductioh in the intensity of the celebration or any redirection of
its energy into more productive channels. Because once you start giv-
ing credence to theidea that the quality of everyday people's everyday
lives is really what matters, there's no telling where you're likely to stop.;

Letters to the Editor

Clarification
To the Editor:
ALTHOUGH THE article "Rent
Strike: The landlords speak" in
this Sunday's Daily seemed, for
the most part, to be a fair repre-
sentation of their views, there were
several points raised. which need
further clarification.
Louis Fiegelson of Ambassador
Co. claims that the Tenants Union
is "undemocratic and dishonest."
He is seconded in this opinion by
Tom Burnham of Apt. Ltd. who
stated "They represent nobody but
themselves." I would like to call
to the attention of these gentle-
man the fact that the policy-
making group of the Tenants
Union is madesup of a Council of
Representatives elected to this
body by members of the Union
in the buildings they represent.
Up until now, all members of
the Union were people who were
on strike; however, this represent-
ative body has voted to expand
the membership to all tenants in
order to make the union repre-
sentative of all tenants. Organ-
izing will be centered around get-
ting 50 per cent plus 1 of all ten-
ants of a particular landlord to
join the Union. This is what has
been done with Associated Apts.
and the Union is now in the pro-
cess of setting up negotiations
with them.

AS TO Mr. Schram's allegation
that "They're unreasonable peo-
ple," the people that he apparently
found so difficult to deal with,
(I am assuming that he meant the
Steering Committee), are no long-
er with the Union. The member
who has been on the Steering
Committee the longest, at this
point, has only been on it since
June, and most everyone else has
been elected to it since this fall.
In addition, the majority of these
people have been elected from the
representative body-all have been
elected by democratic vote.
Mr. Schram of Charter Realty
further claims that "the people
who are heading the Tenants
Union don't have the tenants in-
terest at heart." This seems to be
a rather strange statement, as the
people who "head" the Tenants
Union are not a disinterest group
of strangers brought in from the
outside, but are themselves, ten-
ants. I can think of no group that
could have more interest at heart
than this; or does Mr. Schram,
whose business is to be a landlord,
believe that he is more representa-
tive of tenant interests. If this is
true, why were there enough griev-
ances to start a Tenants Union to
begin with?
He also says that he recognized
some of his strikers as participants
in the LSA sit-in. I'm not exactly
sure what Mr. Schram means

when he says this, unless he is
trying to imply that the Tenants
Union is made up of irresponsible,
professional agitators. Members of
the Tenants Union are free to par-
ticipate in any activity, political
or otherwise, which they wish.
Just as the Union does not feel
it has thehright to tell them what
they may take part in, nor
does it tell them what they must
take part in.
MR. 'FIEGELSON goes on to
spin a sad tale of how his repeated
efforts in the spring to negotiate
with the Union (if it were repre-
sentative of his tenants) were re-
buffed. However, he does not men-
tion that when the same plan was
offered to him this fall by the TU
general coordinator and lawyer, he
rejected the offer.
I was, however, gratified to see
that some landlords are honest
enough to admit that, even though
unrecognized by themselves, the
Tenants Union has brought about
some useful changes. I am refer-
ring, in this case, to Mr. Paup who
feels we have helped improve
mainenance and Mr. Terril who
feels we have "put a lot of people
on their toes."
-Lynn Hallen, '70
Tenants Union
Feb. "1

French university reforms sour

Students hshouldbe consulted
about the University calendar

THE UNIVERSITY Calendar Committee,
after long and exhaustive study, has
recommended the retention of the tri-
mester system.
The committee, composed of faculty,
students and administrators, h a s con-
cluded that:
-the University is providing at least
3 per cent more service in terms of credit
hours taught annually due to the trimes-
ter system;
-students, faculty and the University
benefit financially f r o m the trimester
system which allows students to work for
a longer period during the summer, fac-
ulty to earn additional money yithout
losing a summer vacation, and the Uni-
versity to receive additional appropria-
tions;
-the period devoted to teaching under
the trimester system is not "significantly
shorter" than the average at comparable
institutions and that student perform-
ote Monday

ance "does not differ appreciably" from
performance under the University's pre-
vious calendar.
Senate Assembly will resume consider-
ation of the report at its meeting Mon-
day, and it appears that the faculty rep-
resentative body may recommend to the
Regents a change to a semester or quar-
ter system. Unfortunately, t h e r e is no
comparable institutionalized means for
students to have their interests on this
matter represented. -
AS WAS DEMONSTRATED in a survey
taken last year, the trimester system
has proved generally popular among
students, largely due to the greater flex-
ibility it permits in planning the aca-
demic year, and the lengthened summer
vacations, which' provide greater time for
travel, work and other non-academic
pursuits. In addition, the trimester sys-
tem has provided a Christmas vacation
which can really be called a vacation,
free from the burden of finals to fret over
and papers to work on.
Any change in the University calendar
must take into vital consideration this
student interest. To this end,, in the event

(EDITOR'S NOTE: The author is a literary college junior
and former Daily writer who left his native Ann Arbor
for the year in order to study-among other things-
on the Cote d'Azar.)
By BILL LAVELY
(First of two parts)
FRENCH UNIVERSITIES are facing their worst crisis
since the mini-revolution of May 1968.
Students, reforms, and educational quality are being
squeezed out by a lack of money. Slowly, steadily, and
seemingly inexorably, the government of President
Georges Pompidou is carving away more and more "excess
fat" from the educational budget. Ending up in the pile
that the government labels waste is a sizable - chunk
of the heart of the university: namely the- students.
Budget cuts, whether by conservative state legis-
latures or by modern western governments, are no
strangers to colleges and universities. But today in France,
large university departments are literally being cut down
to economy size in the name of expediency.
UNDER A PROGRAM called the "politics of austerity"
the French government has initiated a series of moves
to solidify the ailing franc.
The measures, designed to curb inflation and improve
the lagging balance of payments, range from the mun-
dane and expected (devaluation, raising taxes) to the
extraordinary and debated (de facto modification of
the Middle East arms embargo for the sale of Mirage
jets to Lybia).
But the stiffest measures have been reserved for the
educational system. Just at the moment when the newly
reformed French university was emerging from the rubble
of 1968 and general chaos caused by the resulting re-
forms, the government slashed the education budget back
to the bare bones.
The effects of this economy measure were felt im-
-mediately. Dorm fees went up, tuition was hiked one
hundred per 'cent and construction on badly needed
dorm and building space was slowed or halted.
But the most devastating effects of the austerity
policy did not emerge until classes began last November.
Only then did it become apparent that the government,
in its drive for economy, intended to alter the very
makeup of the university itself.
The governments new policy - as it continues to
emer'o'e and devlo-aims at. thinning university enroll-

toward university reform was the ritual firing-in-
humiliation of education minister Alain Peyrefitte and
the hiring of reform-minded Edgar Faure.
Faure's efforts, although far short of student hopes
eliminated several of the most odious pillars of traditional
French educational philosophy. Thrown out with Peyre-
fite were the mass lecture course, the single "guillotine"
final exam at the end of every course, and the closed,
overspecialized curriculum.
FAURE PROMISED a more modern system, borrowing
heavily, in' fact, from the United States.
-A type of credit hour system was adopted (called
"unites de valeur") that would allow students to have
a more flexible curriculum and more optional course
selections;
-Mass lecture courses were replaced by smaller reci-
tation classes, allowing real student-teacher exchange
for the first time; and
-The regime of final examinations was made op-
tional, coexisting with the alternative of three less
demanding proofs of the student's mastery of the course
material.
This later system, (called "control continue des con-
naissances"), requires that the student gain an average
grade on a midterm exam, a paper, and an "expose"-
a lecture prepared by the student and delivered to the
class.,
IN THEORY, these new measures are more or less
like the system used in the United States. But in practice
they are less.
Consider for a moment the results of dividing a large
lecture class into six smaller classes. With a professor
for each class, that means the addition of five new
professors-or else one professor that teaches six times
as many classes.I
That is exactly the problem that the French univer-
sities faced last fall when classes began. More professors
cost more money. But this year, the government is giving
less.
Attempting to make the reforms work with the mate-
rial and money at hand, university administrators made
the recitations "slightly larger" than planned, and
doubled the course load of the professors.
The result has been chaos. The "slightly larger"
recitations, often with fifty students, have frustrated the
teacher-student exchange they were supposed to en-

from the universities takes an altogether different form.
Last fall, the government started to reduce student
enrollment in selected schools. The tool for this adjust-
ment is selection; that is, raising standards so that
many students will fail and be forced from.their studies.
The first impact was felt in the school of medicine
where this new standard will cause nearly 50 per cent
of all medical students to fail their studies in any given
year-causing most of those to leave the university.
Guichard, for a moment at least, dreamed of calling
this measure another "university reform." But the term
"economy measure" became definitely attached to the
move in the midst of the furor raised by Frenchmen
who are well. aware of the doctor shortage in France{
But after a long fall of protest and debate, the order
survived with only slight modifications.
ANOTHER UNEXPECTED and totally unwanted uni-
versity "reform" announced by Guichard on January 2
would significantly lower university enrollment.
The "circular of Jan. 2" declares that a student who
suffers a failure in a single course would be barred from
pissing into the next year's courses. Although similar in
effect to the ruling in medicine, nobody'' can even guess
what the actual result of this selection will be. But it is
obvious that it will cause thousands of students to fail
and leave the university-at a substantial saving to the
government.
It is little wonder that this whittling down of the
university has caused so much debate here, in recent
months. Yet the government continues to insist that these
cutbacks are necessary to strengthen the economy. And
defends its position saying that the university is not
the only place where the belt is being tightened.
True. All Frenchmen are groaning under increased
taxes, added to a cost of living that has risen at six per
cent per year, all of which has made talk of the 10 per
cent wage hike gained in 1968 merely a bad joke.
IN FACT, many Frenchmen believe the unspoken
maxim that seems to permeate many government pro-
nouncements on the austerity program-that the people
must now pay for the benefits they reaped from the mini-
revolution. And while Pompidou endeavors to close the
gap between spiraling prices and economic growth, that
bit of peasant logic serves as a handy justification for
the "politics of austerity."

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